Worldwide farm machinery sales decline

Sales of tractors and farm machinery across the world are on the slide, according to the German Engineering Association.

This news comes hot on the heels of reports that the UK has seen a massive slump in tractor sales.

The VDMA said production this year is expected to drop 10% to hit a total of €90bn (£66bn).

However, this figure is still significantly higher than the average of the past 10 years.

“Since the last recession in 2009, the industry has experienced a huge boom. This is now well and truly over,” said Dr Bernd Scherer, managing director of the VDMA.

See also: German farm machinery output dropped in 2014 

“We are expecting the markets to consolidate from now on, especially those established markets in Europe and the US, although attractive opportunities for expansion continue to open up in several of the newly industrialised countries.”

The business climate for big agricultural machinery companies has cooled across the globe, he adds, with one in two western European and North American managers currently rating their business outlook as “unsatisfactory”, according to a survey co-ordinated by the VDMA.

The EU and North America make up about 55% of the world market for agricultural machinery and set the tone for global trends.

Heavy investment in farm machinery over the past three years, plus lower crop prices, meant that in the first half of the year demand for new machinery dropped 20%.

Markets in South America and eastern Europe are also weak, says the VDMA, partly because of a sharp fall in government investment support schemes.

Harvesting equipment sales in Russia are proving particularly challenging, thanks to inflexible import restrictions.

However, there has been growth this year in the Japanese, Chinese and Turkish markets for agricultural machinery.

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